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Area charities seeing drop in donations this year
Troubled economy takes toll on local giving
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    With less than a week away from Christmas, things aren't looking that great for several families in the area need in help with Christmas. Last year, the Christmas in the Boro and Bulloch efforts served 250 families. This year, only 175 will be helped, and it's a stretch filling those needs.
    The economy has impacted donations of new, unwrapped toys, and if not for affiliate entities such as Briggs and Stratton, Northland Cable and Wal-Mart Supercenter, the needs of these families would not have been met, said coordinator Tina Childs.
    "We haven't had nearly the donations as last year," she said. "It's really dry and down this year."
    But it's not too late to help. Families are expected to pick up their boxes Tues., Dec. 22, and Wed., Dec. 23, Santa and Mrs. Claus will lead a parade of law enforcement workers and volunteers in delivering the rest. But there are still a few days to donate toys to be given to children who may not otherwise have any Christmas presents under their tree, she said.
    It is depressing to know that some families won't get assistance this year, but the effort and volunteers do what they can, she said. Additional last-minute donations may mean a few more families will be served this year, but it's up to the public to make that happen.
    The Georgia Southern University Festival of Trees at the Nessmith-Lane Building raised $1,200 - $200 more than last year - that was spent to help buy toys for children of less fortunate families, Childs said. Donations such as that have helped, but still, 75 fewer families will be served this year.
    Christmas in  he Boro and Bulloch is a joint effort between Wal-Mart, Toys for Tots, the Statesboro Police Department and Bulloch County Sheriff's Department.
    Sgt. Danny Tremble heads up the sheriff's department division of the effort.
    Childs said anyone can drop off donations of new, unwrapped toys at either the Statesboro Police Department or Bulloch County Sheriff's Department.
     Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.
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